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Municipality and town
Central square of Motavita
Central square of Motavita
Flag of Motavita
Official seal of Motavita
Location of the municipality and town of Motavita in the Boyacá Department of Colombia
Location of the municipality and town of Motavita in the Boyacá Department of Colombia
Coordinates: 05°34′38″N 073°22′02″W / 5.57722°N 73.36722°W / 5.57722; -73.36722Coordinates: 05°34′38″N 073°22′02″W / 5.57722°N 73.36722°W / 5.57722; -73.36722
Country  Colombia
Department Boyacá Department
Province Central Boyacá Province
Founded 23 December 1816
 • Mayor Heli Quintero Suárez
 • Municipality and town 62 km2 (24 sq mi)
Elevation 2,690 m (8,830 ft)
Population (2015)
 • Municipality and town 8,067
 • Urban 881
Time zone Colombia Standard Time (UTC-5)
Website Official website

Motavita is a town and municipality in the Colombian Department of Boyacá, part of the subregion of the Central Boyacá Province. It covers approximately 62 square kilometres (24 sq mi).[1]


The name Motavita comes from the Chibcha language and means "washing place to prepare for growing crops", indicating a ceremonial use.[2]


Motavita is bordered to the north by Arcabuco and Cómbita, to the east and south by Tunja, and to the west by Sora and Chíquiza.[3]


In the time before the Spanish conquest of the Muisca, Motavita was inhabited by the Muisca, organised in their loose Muisca Confederation. Motavita was an important settlement in the coca trade with surrounding indigenous groups, such as the Muzo people who populated the western parts of Boyacá. Motavita was ruled by the zaque of nearby Hunza. Conquistador Hernán Pérez de Quesada, brother of Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, reached Motavita in 1540.[1] In 1776 the first evangelisation of the Catholic Church was established by friar Juan Pérez.[1] Modern Motavita was founded on December 23, 1816 and its first mayor was Marino Monrroy.[1]


Motavita was divided into five cadastral vereda (townships): Centro, Carbonera, Ristá, Salvial and Sote Panelas; however, Sote Panelas had four more veredas split off from it, namely: Frutillal, Versalles, Quebrada Honda and Barro Hondo, thus making nine vereda.[4]

Born in Motavita[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d (Spanish) Official website Motavita
  2. ^ López, Javier Ocampo (2001). El imaginario en Boyacá: la identidad del pueblo boyacense y su proyección en la simbología regional (Volume 2: El imaginario colectivo en los pensadores boyacenses). Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad Distrital "Francisco José de Caldas". p. 84. ISBN 978-958-9160-90-9. 
  3. ^ "Motavita: Generalidades: 1.2 Limites (Motavita: Overview: 1.2 Borders)" (PDF) (in Spanish). Government of Boyacá. p. 1. 
  4. ^ "Motavita: Generalidades: 1.3 División Política (Veredas)" (PDF) (in Spanish). Government of Boyacá. p. 4.